Cyclist´s Broken Hip Compensation Settlement Upheld on Appeal

A cyclist´s $439,000 broken hip compensation settlement – originally awarded by a jury in 2013 – has been upheld by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

On 6th August 2011, John Currier was cycling in the Lloyd District of Portland, when he had to take evasive action to avoid a car that was waiting to pull out from the Washman car wash on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, and was blocking both the cycle lane and the sidewalk.

Rather than pull out from the cycle lane into the heavy traffic, John cycled around the rear of the vehicle and onto the forecourt of the car wash. Unfortunately the forecourt of the car wash was particularly slippery and John fell from his bike – breaking his hip and suffering a serious elbow injury.

John claimed compensation from Washman LLC for his injuries, and in 2013 an Oregon jury awarded him $439,000 compensation after finding that the driver of the car – Dorothy Williams – had done nothing wrong, and that John was 30% responsible for his injuries due to his comparative negligence.

Washman LLC appealed the broken hip compensation settlement on the grounds that, by choosing to cycle onto the forecourt of the car wash, John was effectively trespassing. Lawyers for the company argued that it was not established at the original hearing that John had any right to be on the property.

At the Appeals Court hearing, the panel of judges heard John´s lawyer argue that it was “community custom” for cyclists and walkers to cross the parking lots and driveways of businesses — and to assume they were allowed to do so.

The panel of judges agreed with John´s lawyer and upheld the jury´s broken hip compensation settlement. Presiding Judge Timothy Sercombe told the court that despite Washman LLC´s arguments, John was not trespassing and the car wash had a duty of care to keep its pavement safe.


Police Officer Escapes Serious Injury in Las Vegas Hit and Run Accident

A Metro police officer narrowly escaped serious injury when hit by a car in a Las Vegas hit and run accident as he conducted an earlier crash investigation.

The unnamed officer suffered injuries to his knee and hip while investigating a crash that had occurred at the intersection of Windmill Lane and Eastern Avenue just before 6:00pm. According to colleagues at the scene, the traffic had been stopped but a driver went around the stationary vehicles, accelerated away and hit the officer.

The driver of the car subsequently hit another vehicle as he turned into Spencer Street – which police believe disabled his car – and fled on foot along with a passenger. Police apprehended the passenger quickly, and then detained the driver responsible for the Las Vegas hit and run accident a few hours later.

The injured officer was taken to the University Medical Center, where is recovering from his injuries. Police chiefs praised the officer for his quick-thinking to cling onto the front of the car and then pushing himself off and landing on his side. They said his actions probably saved him from more serious injury.

Fleeing a Las Vegas hit and run accident when a bodily injury has been sustained is a category B felony in Nevada, and the driver who hit the police office could face between two and fifteen years in prison along with a substantial fine and revocation of their license.

Update: Police later released the names of the driver and passenger apprehended after the Las Vegas hit and run accident. The driver – Jacob Groh (18) from Henderson – was booked on suggested charges of attempted murder and drug-related DUI, while his colleague – Aaron Miller (18) from Las Vegas – was booked on a suggested charge of failing to give an officer information at the scene of the accident.


Changes to Personal Injury Claims Procedures will Speed up Compensation

Changes to personal injury claims procedures introduced on 1st August 2013 will speed up compensation settlements in claims with a value of up to £25,000.

The second of two changes to the Civil Procedure Rules took effect on 1st August 2013, and whereas the changes to the personal injury claims procedures in April of this year took away some of the benefits of making “Contingency Fee” compensation claims, the most recent changes should allow claimants to receive their compensation settlements within a shorter time frame.

The new procedures will see the length of time negligent parties and their insurance companies have to acknowledge “Letters of Claim” reduced to one day from twenty-one days, and the number of days available for them to conduct their own investigations into a claim reduced from ninety days to thirty days (forty days in the event of a compensation claim for an accident at work).

The aim of the new procedures is to reduce the costs of pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation when the value of the claim is less than £25,000 and when liability is not disputed. Any negligent party or insurance company who fails to adhere to these guidelines will not be able to take advantage of the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal and will face higher costs in defending the claim.

There are numerous exceptions to the new Civil Procedure Rules and there will be no change to the personal injury claims procedures in the following events:-

  • If an injury has been sustained due to the negligence of a private individual – for example if a homeowner has damaged the pavement outside their house over which you have tripped and fallen
  • If the injury which is being claimed for is an acquired disease either at work (for example COPD due to your working environment) or a place of public access (for example food poisoning in a restaurant)
  • If an injury has been sustained in an accident or scenario involving more than one party – for example a car accident in which more than one person was to blame
  • If an injury was sustained in an accident for which you were partly to blame or if your injury was exacerbated due to your own lack of care (also known as “Contributory Negligence”).
  • If a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition was due to medical negligence – either at a hospital or in private practice such as at the dentist
  • If you have developed mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos, or if you are claiming on behalf of an individual who has died due to mesothelioma cancer
  • If you have sustained an injury due to the negligence of a party who is uninsured, insolvent or untraceable – such as if you are injured in a hit and run accident.

The changes apply to injuries which have been sustained or diagnosed in England or Wales from 1st August onwards, and do not affect the length of time you have after an injury has been discovered in which to claim personal injury compensation – currently three years in the UK.

Should you require further information about how the changes to the personal injury claims procedures may affect you in your particular circumstances, you are advised to speak with a personal injury lawyer at the earliest opportunity.


Haringey Council Aim to Reduce Injury Claims for Trips on Footpath Potholes

Haringey Council in North London has announced plans to revise the frequency at which potholes on pavements are inspected and repaired in a bid to reduce injury claims for trips on sidewalk potholes.

The decision to invest more resources into maintaining the council´s streets and pavements follows the seven-figure compensation settlement of an injury claim for a trip on a sidewalk pothole paid to Kyle Bullock earlier this year, after the charity worker sustained a brain injury when tripping on a three-inch pothole in the pavement on Lightfoot Road in Hornsey.

An investigation following the settlement of the claim revealed that the Council´s policy of inspecting its pavements and roads every six months – and only filling potholes with a depth of two inches or more – was costing more money in the settlement of injury claims for trips on sidewalk potholes than it was saving.

A spokesperson for Haringey Council said that the pavements and roads within the borough would be inspected more frequently; with repairs being undertaken within six days (rather than the present twenty-eight days) on potholes with a depth of one inch or greater. The improvements to the pavements and roads within Haringey´s boundaries are expected to be completed within six months at a cost of £109 million.


Student Receives Pedestrian Compensation for Being Hit by a Car

A business administration student from Birmingham is to receive more than £1 million pedestrian compensation for being hit by a car following a negotiated settlement.

The undisclosed sum will be paid to Lee Edge (21) from the city´s suburb of King´s Heath after an agreement was reached on how much compensation he should be entitled to following an accident in January 2005; when he was run down by a car whose driver was later convicted of driving without due care and attention.

Lee made the claim for pedestrian compensation for being hit by a car through his mother Sandra while he was recovering from the accident – due to which he now suffers from poor memory, fatigue and difficulty in concentrating.

Despite his injuries, Lee managed to achieve sufficiently high grades to attend college and, following an assessment of his future health requirements, Lee will now be the recipient of a seven-figure settlement of pedestrian compensation for being hit by a car.


Car Accident Death Award of more than £83,500

The family of a mother and child, who were both tragically killed in a road traffic accident which occurred in 2006, have been awarded more than £83,500 in a car accident death award. Both Yvonne Mahoney (24) and her daughter, Bobbi-Ann (2), were killed when an automobile driven by Yvonne’s partner John Maloney (33) was struck by another car as it exited the crossroads junction on July 9 2006. Mr Maloney also lost his life in the accident.

In litigation brought by Yvonne´s widowed mother, Mary (56), it was alleged that local council had failed to maintain clear vision at the junction by not cutting down, pruning or trimming the trees and hedges on the side of the road. It was also alleged that they did not erect yield or stop signs.

Mrs Mahoney also sued John Maloney’s estate, claiming that Mr. Maloney had been negligent on the day of the accident by way of his driving. It was claimed that Mr Maloney had caused Mrs Maloney and her eight other children to suffer mental distress. In the High Court, Judge Mr. Justice Moriarty heard that liability had been withdrawn, and awarded Mrs Mahoney and the family of Yvonne and Bobbi-Ann a compensation settlement of £83,500 plus costs.


Pedestrian Knocked Down by Bus at Pedestrian Crossing awarded £6.6m

An award of £6.6m in compensation for a pedestrian knocked down  by a bus on a pedestrian crossing is to be made after representatives of the bus company agreed to a settlement just as the jury were being seated at the Alameda County Superior Court.

On November 3 2008, Abby Nichols (23) of Oakland, California, had just completed her day’s work at the San Francisco bagel shop in which she worked as an assistant, and began crossing the road at the junction of Telegraph Avenue and 51st Street.

Despite the green light being in her favour, a bus turned into the road, knocking Abby over, and trapping her underneath the chassis of the automobile. She was stuck beneath the bus for another 15 minutes, as the bus driver did not know how to operate the hydraulic lever, and Abby sustained a crushed hip that needed to be replaced, a broken pelvis and femur.

The bus firm, AC Transit, discovered in their own examination that the bus driver was guilty of negligence but failed to arrange a quick settlement for Abby. It was only when a case was taken that Abby – who stills undergoes physical therapy and can only walk with the aid of a cane – managed to obtain the bus injury compensation to which she was entitled.